Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pussycat, Pussycat, where have you been?

Pussycat, Pussycat, where have you been?
I've been to London to visit the Queen.
Pussycat, Pussycat, what did you there?

I frightened a little mouse under her chair!

Or, in the bitchin' life, you get a variation on that old English nursery rhyme that is altogether twisted.

With my mom here visiting for two weeks, 007 and I had been plotting our weekend away together for months. Friday finally arrived; we kissed everyone goodbye, worried over the last details, and then hopped a train to London, leaving all our thoughts of responsibilities and worries floating in our wake.

We giddily checked into our hotel by 5:30 on Friday, thrilled to be in the city and on our own for the first time in over six months.

We may've been lying in bed (what?) drinking champagne and thinking we were living large all nestled up, as we were, in the fluffy feather bed and deliciously soft sheets of the Marriott hotel on the Thames, but believe me: vermin are the great equalizer of men and hotels.

Daddy-007 leaped out of bed with a roar when a mouse came out from under our bed and climbed up the leg of a nearby chair and into his clothes! He shook his clothes out and no mouse came tumbling, so we waited; crouched and tense, watching the chair.

And then the mouse ran out from behind a (lovely) embroidered pillow, took a flying leap off and ran back under the bed. Some shrieking may have occurred, but before he was done scurrying, I was up and repacking our things as I made arrangements for a new room with the front desk.

In exchange for our disturbing discovery, the hotel moved us to a new room that wasn't a half mile from the lift, had a great view of Big Ben and included the use of the "Executive Lounge" (a room with nibbles, a latté machine, and computer/printer/fax). Which was nice, but I was really hoping they would comp the bottle of champagne and jar of nuts that we opened, and the movie we watched (The Hangover, heheheh),

Oh, well. We accidentally left them a sleazy surprise in the bedside table drawer, too. (Sorry about that, housekeeping!) So, I guess we're even.

(Side note: We received a letter from the Marriott County Hall today apologizing for the incident and offering us a free room upgrade with Executive lounge access the next time we come to London, should be choose their hotel.)

After finishing the movie in our new room, we got all gussied up and headed out to a French bistro in south Kensington, La Bouchée. Way back, when we were but the Bitchin' couple, our favorite restaurant was a little bistro called Chez Nous (in Austin, Texas). Madison never had a comparable place, so it was a delight to find this place. It was a fantastic atmosphere, all snug and cozy and delicious smelling and exactly the right timing with the service.

After dinner we cabbed it back to the hotel, jumped back in bed and watched Zombieland. If you haven't yet seen this movie: Watch it. Now. Even if you ARE a zombie, I expect you to lurch and drag yourself to the video store and get it as soon as possible. (It will be released on DVD February 2, 2010, according to It is worth the price of purchase just for the scenes with Bill Murray and the opening credits. Pure gold.

The next day my husband went off to the London Boat Show and I went to the Natural History Museum to get some inspiration at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit. Truly spectacular photos from all over the world. I've got a lot of work to do to get in this league, but it doesn't seem impossible. A lot of nature photography seems to be in the patience and timing. Sometimes it is years of planning that make it possible to get the perfect shot, but other times it is just luck and the fact that you have put yourself into a particular location and are watching is all that is necessary. Most shots seem to fall somewhere in between. :)

We ended the day by going to see Wicked at the Apollo Victoria theatre. I have since downloaded the soundtrack and am making myself impossible to be around in the house, randomly singing out: "I am pop-ye-ew-lar!!" or "I feel like defying gravity!"

You have no idea....

Okay, I have to wrap this up as it has snowed AGAIN and I must get out with my tripod and camera to see if I can find those animal tracks in the snow that I have been plotting to shoot since before Christmas.

Before I sign off, though, I'd like the ladies of Cupcake '10 to know I was thinking of them this weekend:

I made a special trip to The Hummingbird Bakery to enjoy a cupcake and latté in their honor. Yum!


  1. Ha ha, sounds like you had a good time over all. And look at those beautiful cupcakes!


  2. Sounds like a wonderful well needed get away!

  3. Glad you two had the opportunity for the little getaway. Marriages need that!


  4. I would be wary of the executive lounge. Mice, I've heard, love nothing more than fax machines.

  5. Oh my the mice, even though they are small they can cause quite a stir.
    The museum must have been a delight and very inspirational for you. I admire how you are not afraid to take off on your own and make a day of it!! Not a lot of people are comfortable with doing so.

    I understand the importance and excitement of having alone time with 007. The only dates I seem to get with Mr. Hollywood Farm these days are at the fine dining restaurants in the airport when one of us taking off!
    Oh well gotta take what you can get right!!
    Stay warm and keep snapping those photogs!!

  6. I do so understand your reasoning for downloading the soundtrack for Wicked! That is one of my all-time favorite musicals (well, you know I'm a Drama Mama, with 2 drama queens, one with a degree to prove it and one working on her degree) I probably know every word to every song! (did you know they are making it into a film?)

    So glad you had a fabulous time! Sorry about the mouse, but you now have an excuse to go back for a free night of sex... I mean, relaxation!

  7. I love London and your getaway sounds fabulous. I have a funny story about a "French bistro" my husband I found there on a weekend getaway five years ago. But no time to recap - if you're interested, here's a link to a blog post I wrote:

  8. I am only a teeny tiny HUGE bit jealous.

  9. Cupcakes and Wicked. You complete me...

  10. Aside from the Mice-ident, that sounded like a pretty good time.

  11. Wicked. I completely understand. I am constantly singing it.
    Screw the cupcakes, look at the beautiful couple! You look great!

  12. I love your photography! So, to me, you are museaum worthy. And isn't that really all that matters...

    Glad you enjoyed your weekend! I would LOVE to have a nice relaxing weekend complete with mice and men!

  13. Mice and snakes are my least favorite creatures. Aside from the little rodent, your trip sounds so heavenly.

    Hugs and Mocha,

  14. I inclination not acquiesce in on it. I think nice post. Particularly the title-deed attracted me to be familiar with the unscathed story.

  15. Dammit, those cakes look yummy....

  16. Sounds like a great weekend. WE are off to Nashville this weekend. Celebrating our anniversary. Not exactly London, but we are straying at the Grand ol opryland resort.

  17. What fun is a night away from the kids without adventure. That mouse makes for great blog fodder. Of course I have admit it also falls into the category of better you than me. ;)

  18. Yum. Soooo jealous.
    Can't wait to see your pics!

  19. Dealing with dead mouse retrieval and disposal this very moment.

    Ben has enlisted the kids, somehow. He is squeeing and they are brave and laughing.

    I adore the pic of you and Daddy007. What a gorgeous pair.


  20. Well, aside from the whole mouse incident it sounds like a great time. Lovely photo of the two of you.

  21. Oh, this all sounds fantastic!! Except for the mouse scurrying into clothes bit.

    I want to go to London! And see Wicked! And see you, of course :-)

    Oh well, turns out I won't be going to Blogher this year, so I might make it there in the fall (fingers crossed.)

    Glad to hear you had a great time with hubby!

  22. Those cupcakes are spectacular. I remember being in London over Christmas one year. It was lovely (and frigid).

  23. So much fun... except for the MOUSE!

  24. i am laughing out loud at the picture of 007 and the mouse ! Did I ever tell you about the dead bird in our sleeper sofa (st,martin) ......? we had a upgrade for our next few visits!! You 2 look sooo happy :-) and your mom looks as though she belongs in England ! Xp

  25. Looks/sounds like a great time... and those cupcakes... oh my... heaven!


Thoughts appreciated. Advice welcome. Douche-baggery scoffed at then deleted.